Thursday, April 24, 2014

MOG's upgrades and uplifts... Preparing for the Loop!

Finally I have some good weather, the early monsoons and gales have 
abated here in Wilmington, NC and Bennett Brothers Yachts is humming 
along. The fine folks here have cleaned the boat's hull below the 
water line, skegs have been caulked and the bottom has new Petit 
Trinidad (dark blue) with a revitalized boot stripe. The boot stripe 
had to be moved for the new water line because of the auxiliary 
outboard's weight. The nearly 300 pound setup plus it's start battery 
and gas tanks is a big load for the aft end. I like having the comfort 
factor for the wife and me but my previous trips never used an 
auxiliary engine, just the electric motors to drive the boat. I look 
forward to the engine removal after these new electric motors and 
controllers have been put through their paces. 
(Images at the bottom of this post are terrific complements to the text.) 

Other items on the completion list.....  the expanded battery area to 
18 batteries, expansion of the PV (solar electric photovoltaic 
modules) to 11, added circuit breakers, wiring and bringing a second 
PV controller on line. Not to mention repainting the fore deck and aft 
deck and the roof. The mounting of the 5 additional PVs has been a bit 
nettlesome because the original layout and clamping hardware created  
did not meet the eyeball test. Although quite functional, the added 
PVs broke the roof line in an unlikable set of jaggies. I have 
smoothed the appearance, which demands I fashion new hardware. There 
are times when I feel the job will never get done but I am 
indefatigable and undeterred.

Most of the solar electric work is performed at dusk to alleviate my 
shadow messing up the incoming sun/electricity. This might seem 
trivial but one panel set is a series creating 72 volts DC and the 
other panel is series creating 125 volts DC. Prolonged shadows at full 
sun can literally fry a solar cell in a module, not a good idea cost 
wise. So during the strong day sun I use the electricity to saw, 
drill, shape and sand various pieces of wood and heavy plastics to 
secure the battery sets, create additional storage and make mounts for 
the 5 added PVs. The added PVs can be taken down and stored inside the 
boat (when not needed on the Erie Canal and non-ocean like conditions).

For me this is all great fun, thought provoking and exhilarating work. 
At the end of the day I am tired and hungry. The next day is more 
problems to solve. Thus I proceed on the way to getting onto the Great 
Loop. Surprisingly good progress is being made. We'll get there.

The MOG's "Sea Beard" after one year in the water.

A couple of shots as the MOG is temporarily removed from its
natural element.

In the first shot, the Captain surveys the situation as
the MOG is returned again to its rightful place. 

Note the bow bumper or "Bowmper" 

Solar PV modues laid out on the roof to the bow and stern. Some hardware
changes are required before hook up.

Captain George McNeir looks very much the proud papa.
Note MOG Navy apparel available at

The fore deck gets two coats of grey grit paint as do the aft and side decks.

The new 125 volt DC, 3 pole, circuit breaker for the
5 added PVs atop the roof with the Trace 40 amp
controller to the left and the black
Outback controller to the right.

A bow shot of the painted hull, black 2" wide boot stripe,
and extended Bowmper to protect the bow.

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